UEFA is recognised as one of the world's leading sports organisations in the fight against doping. As such, UEFA continually strives to ensure that its education and testing programmes remain at the cutting edge of science and recognised good practice in all areas of both prevention and detection.
Any player participating in a UEFA competition may be required to undergo doping control procedures at any time. Doping controls may include samples of blood and urine, as well as screening for substances such as EPO and human growth hormone. No advance information is given as to when controls will take place – they can either be in-competition (after a match) or out-of-competition (at a team training session or players' homes).
A key part of UEFA's testing strategy is the athlete biological passport, with both blood and steroidal passport programmes in operation. These monitor players' blood and urine biomarkers over an extended period of time; variations in either the blood or steroid profile may indicate doping, and also provide intelligence for target testing.
In addition, UEFA stores all samples collected in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA European Championship for up to ten years in order to allow re-analysis at any time, in particular when required due to specific intelligence, or when new analytical techniques become available. This long-term sample storage allows anti-doping rule violations to be prosecuted up to ten years after they have been committed, and as such, acts as a significant deterrent.
UEFA has signed cooperation agreements with 33 European National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs). Under these agreements, UEFA and the NADOs coordinate their anti-doping programmes and testing activities, and exchange information and intelligence. The agreements also ensure that UEFA has a full picture of the doping tests conducted on players across Europe at national level.
To illustrate the breadth of UEFA's testing work, in the 2021/22 season, a total of 416 urine samples were collected within the framework of the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 testing programme, and a total of 3,081 samples were collected by UEFA in its other club and national team competitions.
UEFA's doping controls are all conducted by UEFA's own doping control officers (DCOs), a group of 56 medical doctors from 28 different countries. New DCOs follow UEFA's in-depth training programme, while all DCOs undergo regular auditing to ensure improvements where necessary in the quality of doping controls, and a uniformly high standard of procedure.
Education is a crucial pillar in the fight against doping and is the first line of defence in protecting the rights of football players and the integrity of our sport. The aim of UEFA's anti-doping education programme is to prevent intentional and unintentional doping.
Giving this vital area further impetus is the new anti-doping education strategy, which sees UEFA's 55 member associations given financial backing to run education activities aimed at keeping football 'clean'.
An accompanying education programme is aimed specifically at young players. Instructive sessions on anti-doping are conducted during the final tournaments of all UEFA youth competitions, along with outreach programmes that aim to reinforce the important messages.
Alongside these face-to-face sessions, educational materials are distributed to players in all UEFA competitions to help raise their awareness of anti-doping matters, inform them about UEFA's anti-doping regulations and procedures, and prevent them from committing procedural errors.
Watch below the educational video for players and their support team explaining the different stages of a doping control and what their responsibilities are.
UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations
WADA prohibited list 2023
WADA prohibited list 2023 – summary of modifications
WADA prohibited list 2023 – UEFA information letter
Prohibited list and TUEs FAQs
UEFA TUE application form
WADA guidelines on Glucocorticoids
Whereabouts FAQs 2021/22
Anti-doping and medical pre-season information letter (2022/23)
Anti-doping guide for players
Step-by-step guide to doping controls
UEFA anti-doping poster 2021/22